A scuba diver found a 900-year-old sword dating back to the Crusader period off Israel's coast along with several other artifacts, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said on Monday.
Tidal currents shifted the sand and uncovered ancient anchors, pottery, and most notably, an impressive sword with a three-foot blade, according to a press release.
The diver who made the discovery, Shlomi Katzin of the northern town of Atlit, took the sword ashore fearing that it would be stolen or buried beneath subsequent shifting of the seafloor.
The scuba diver then contacted Nir Distelfeld, an inspector for the Israel Antiquities Authority Northern District’s Robbery Prevention Unit, and reported the find to the IAA.
Upon handing over the sword to the National Treasures Department, Katzin received a certificate of appreciation for good citizenship, the IAA mentioned in its statement.
“The sword, which has been preserved in perfect condition, is a beautiful and rare find,” Distelfeld said.
He added that the artifact, found encrusted with marine organisms, is made of iron and evidently belonged to a “Crusader knight.”
“It is exciting to encounter such a personal object, taking you 900 years back in time to a different era, with knights, armor, and swords.”
According to the IAA, they have been monitoring the site where the anchors and sword were found since June.
The site’s findings are elusive since they disappear with the ebbs and flows of tides.
IAA Marine Archaeology Unit Director Kobi Sharvit said that “the discovery of ancient finds by swimmers and leisure divers is a growing phenomenon in recent years.”
“Every ancient artifact that is found helps us piece together the historical puzzle of the Land of Israel,” IAA's General Director Eli Escosido said.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.